There was a major disturbance at a New York City public high school recently that shows just how out of control students can become. Videos taken during the incident have been posted on the web and viewed by thousands of people.
The situation occurred at Murry Bergtram High School and graphic video of the disturbance demonstrate a high level of chaos. Viewing these video clips remind me of an even more violent student disturbance at Ballard Hudson Middle school when I was a student there. In that instance, local law enforcement officers wearing riot gear broke up the melee with riot batons after a school district police officer was severely beaten.
Situations of group student violence this severe are fortunately relatively rare in most parts of the country. These situations demonstrate how important school climate and culture are and how important it is for school security and law enforcement officials to establish solid rapport with the students they serve. This can be accomplished in any school, including schools serving high-risk student populations.